Gates Says Bomb-Resistant Vehicles Are Getting To Troops

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the military is working “as fast as humanly possible” to produce bomb-resistant vehicles for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Gates paid a visit Friday to military facilities in South Carolina that play a key role in developing the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. Afterward, he praised the multibillion-dollar program as evidence of Congress, the White House and manufacturers “pitching in and doing the right thing.”

Gates says demand for the vehicles, which weigh between 19 and 40 tons, remains strong.

Congress has provided $22.4 billion for as many as 15,000 of the vehicles.

The Pentagon says more than 3,300 of the vehicles have been produced and 1,500 have been shipped, most of them to Iraq.